Exclusion from debates
Example #2: Richard Mack was Sheriff of Graham County, Arizona when President Clinton pushed his Brady Bill through Congress in 1993. One of the provisions required local law enforcement officials to check prospective buyers' backgrounds to determine whether they are forbidden to own guns for various reasons, such as being convicted felons, mental illness or subject to domestic violence restraining orders. Sheriff Mack sued the federal government on the basis that it was an unfunded mandate on his office, and intruded upon his power as Sheriff.
He won, all the way to the Supreme Court and a key provision of the Brady law was declared unconstitutional.
Jon Kyl (R) is our Senator in Arizona. One of his most infamous votes was in 1994, in support of passing the assault weapons and high capacity magazine bans. Many an Arizona firearms owner will never, ever give Kyl any support for that betrayal.
Sheriff Mack as been steadfast and outspoken of his support for our Liberties and Rights, and especially the importance of protecting our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. In his support of limited government. In his support for the elimination of vast amounts of taxes. In his support for ending this war as quickly as possible. In short, he is a better supporter of fiscal conservatism and classic liberalism than either Kyl or the D currently running for Kyl’s Senate seat. So he decided to go after the seat himself, winning a place on the general ballot. His crime however, ... he is running as a Libertarian candidate.
His R and D opponents agreed between themselves to have three televised debates on three conditions: One, the questions to be asked were made available to the candidates in advance so they could crib the answers. Some debate. Two, there would be no audience. Three, there would be no Richard Mack, despite him being the third candidate on the ballot. This goes on not only in Arizona campaigns, but throughout the nation. Yet, when a third party or independent candidate is included in the debates, it is often they who cause the surprises of the debate. .... Oh, I guess I get is now. The major parties don’t like surprises in their campaign, things they cannot control.
To its – in my humble opinion – great shame, a CBS affiliate, Channel 5, KPHO in Phoenix, agreed to host the first “debate” with only two of the three ballot candidates “debating.” They are even using their lead news anchor, Kent Dana, to produce this farce. So much for his reputation. So much for full coverage. Informing the public. What it really amounts to is Sen. Kyl and his megamulti-millionaire Democratic opponent have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the station in campaign advertising revenue, and this is a little free advertising thank you pay back.
What can be done?
One, there is a protest today at 3:30 p.m. (Sunday) out at the studio.
Two, start writing. You can bet KPHO hopes to use this as an example of community service it has provided to the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) to renew its license. Public good, and all that. Now I do not think that the government should be regulating the broadcast industry in the first place. But they do. KPHO favors this regulation, since it excludes potential rivals. So ... he who lives by the sword .... http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/cib/fcc475.cfm can be used to file a complaint electronically with the FCC. Key phrases like failure to meet community standards, public dies-service, responsible to our community, deliberately acts without reasonable care to ensure that _____, etc. can be included.
The station is undoubtedly concerned that this “debate” be considered a news event so their coverage is not construed as a campaign contribution by the FEC (Federal Communication Commission). It is news from the standpoint that the third candidate on the ballot is excluded. It is free campaign advertising for only some of the candidates from the standpoint of the “debate.” I say without including all candidates for a race this air time constitutes a clear violation of federal law and FEC regulations prohibiting corporate contributions in connection with a federal election. You can lodge a complaint with the FEC. I don't like involving the government in the campaign process, but these are the laws the candidates of the R's and D's support, voted for, and KPHO has clamored for in the past. He who lives by the sword .... FEC complaint process.
Oct. 15, 4 P.M., KPHO-TV, Phoenix
Oct. 18, KUAT-TV, Tucson (Update: Debate will feature Richard Mack, kudos to the PBS station for sticking to 1st Amendment principles, see: http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Find-Freedom.htm?At=010888. Update 2: The latest from the Pederson campaign is having been told of Mack’s inclusion, Kyl has backed out of the Tucson debate. Update 3: Apparently Kyl has reconsidered and will participate. Stay tuned.)
Oct. 20, Flagstaff, to be announced
Part Three (in progress)